Robinson happy to do dirty work for Colts offense

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Gijon Robinson caught my eye the first time I scanned a Colts' depth chart and the first time I watched them practice in training camp.

He was in line to be a dirty work guy on a flashy offense, a interesting role.

The Colts love to run two-tight end formations. Dallas Clark is going to be one of them almost all the time.

But with Ben Utecht gone as a free agent to Cincinnati, the second spot is open. The team spent fourth- and sixth-round picks on Jacob Tamme and Tom Santi, who is coming off the same sort of knee surgery Peyton Manning had.

"We're the same type of guy, same type of people," Tamme said. "We're just going to get in there and work our butts off. I'm an ex-wide receiver, he weighs a little more than me. He'll take more reps at a fullback-type position and I'll take more reps as a moving, slot-receiver, motion type guy."

But Robinson -- a rookie free agent out of Missouri Western State who spent 2007 on the practice squad -- is now at the front of the line as the Colts' H-Back, which means he will work as the primary blocking tight end.

"I'm not a big talker guy and I'm not about trying to go out here and showboat," the soft-spoken Robinson said. "I want to do whatever my coach tells me to, and I want to be a part of this team. I want to be a good role player for this team."

He appears to have earned that role, and will hardly get mentioned as the Colts offense is discussed. After all, there is Manning returning from knee surgery, Marvin Harrison back from knee problems, Reggie Wayne coming off his first season topping 100 catches, Clark looking to build on 11 touchdown catches, Anthony Gonzalez trying to make the second-year jump in the slot and all the alterations on the offensive line.

Robinson's teammates will know if he's doing good work, and expect it'll come with some catches too.

"He needs to be a player for us," center Jeff Saturday told me during camp. "If you look at our offense, typically we do better when we have a two-tight end set that's effective. G is going to have a role in playing in that. Physically he's ready to play. Mentally he's coming along very well. He just has to get out there and get some reps, earn some time on the field in live action. I do think he has all the talent in the world to do it and we do need him to be a playmaker for us."

As for the Colts tight ends as a group, Houston middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans said they are sure to difficult to deal with.

"It's tough because it's so simple but they do it so well," Ryans said. "Most of the time we match up a linebacker against their tight end. But that tight end is like a receiver. They run perfect routes and you have to be perfect in your coverage to beat them. That makes it a pain in the butt. Most of the time you can line linebackers against tight ends all day, but they have special tight ends because they know how to run their routes."